AutoCAD Civil 3D General Discussion

AutoCAD Civil 3D General Discussion

Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-07-2013
Message 1 of 60 (2,638 Views)

Slow Civil 3d, cause by slow server, but still frustrated

2638 Views, 59 Replies
02-07-2013 06:50 AM

Our server recently got tied up running backups, so all performance suffered for a morning, but it revealed some of Civil 3D's behavior that may otherwise go unnoticed. Here's relevant details:


  • Win 7 Pro 64, HP EliteBook 8760w with add-on 27" monitor, 16GB RAM
  • Civil 3D 2012, all latest patches/service packs.
  • All support files pathed locally.
  • drawing being worked on is the source for surface data for data shortcuts.
  • all automatic rebuilds of any kind turned off.

Many, many common functions of even vanilla autocad were unreasonably slow.  Why should there be a 20 second delay after clicking a hatch to grip edit?  Why should there be a delay after editing a feature line (no auto rebuild)?  I understand the lag with rebuilding the surface, but not the simple things. It was my understanding that AutoCAD had a system where all drawing data is been copied locally to work on, and saves go back over the network. It seems like Civil3D / AutoCAD generates a ton of unneccesary network traffic for many things which should be able to happen strictly locally.  Am I missing out on a setting somewhere?


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Posts: 2,225
Registered: ‎11-08-2005
Message 2 of 60 (2,606 Views)

Re: Slow Civil 3d, cause by slow server, but still frustrated

02-07-2013 02:47 PM in reply to: kickhead70

Typically when I see selection delays and weird lags it's related to either a driver issue or something to do with your video/display settings.

Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-07-2013
Message 3 of 60 (2,601 Views)

Re: Slow Civil 3d, cause by slow server, but still frustrated

02-07-2013 03:42 PM in reply to: sboon

Steve (good name!)


thanks for the reply.  I've pretty much work through all my issues with drivers/video a while ago and my only complaint about normal operation has to do with the lag cause by having the properties window open. I'm hoping to find out if anyone else has seen behavior like this, or to get AutoDesk's attention to look into why they seem to be generating so much network activity. In this case, I know the system (network) was slow because the server was overloaded. My problem is, with the way I have it set up, why should our slow server affect the program performance so drastically in operations outside of open & save?


Thanks again,


*Expert Elite*
Posts: 2,225
Registered: ‎11-08-2005
Message 4 of 60 (2,597 Views)

Re: Slow Civil 3d, cause by slow server, but still frustrated

02-07-2013 03:46 PM in reply to: kickhead70

If you have the Windows Task manager open while working in CAD do you actually see the network utilization change?

Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-07-2013
Message 5 of 60 (2,589 Views)

Re: Slow Civil 3d, cause by slow server, but still frustrated

02-07-2013 04:01 PM in reply to: sboon

I have a Network Activity Indicator app running that shows the blinking monitors (like windows xp) with network traffic.  When there's a delay with Civil 3D, i see an outgoing blip, a delay, and as soon as the incoming blip is done, Civil 3D comes back to life. That little app really makes me aware are how much traffic is being generated. Funny thing is, there've been times when I've worked at home, with no network connection, and have much better performance from Civil 3D than at the office.


thanks again,


*Expert Elite*
Posts: 2,730
Registered: ‎09-15-2010
Message 6 of 60 (2,570 Views)

Re: Slow Civil 3d, cause by slow server, but still frustrated

02-07-2013 05:31 PM in reply to: kickhead70
Have you cleaned out your temp folder recently?


C3D 2014 SP2
Win 7 Professional 64 Bit
Active Contributor
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎07-23-2007
Message 7 of 60 (2,519 Views)

Re: Slow Civil 3d, cause by slow server, but still frustrated

02-26-2013 09:14 AM in reply to: kickhead70

I am having this issue also. 

Distinguished Contributor
Posts: 118
Registered: ‎05-04-2010
Message 8 of 60 (2,511 Views)

Re: Slow Civil 3d, cause by slow server, but still frustrated

02-26-2013 02:00 PM in reply to: c.austin

I have those issues also. Keeping toolspace closed helps with certain issues. Same with SSM.


I've done some testing with 2013, and it works much better than 2012. A lot of issues just don't exist in 2013 that are just maddening in 2012. Problem is, we haven't put 2013 into production yet, and while it takes care of most of the issues I have with 2012, it appears to have a whole new load of new issues all it's own. :smileysad:

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Posts: 119
Registered: ‎06-09-2008
Message 9 of 60 (2,353 Views)

Re: Slow Civil 3d, cause by slow server, but still frustrated

04-23-2013 02:49 PM in reply to: kickhead70

We are also experience the same issue where either Civil 3D, ADT, or MEP 2012 or 2013 seem slow over our network. I'm hoping I can get other people to run a test to see if other users are having this problem but before I do I will explain our company and network and what I have done with the network and what I have found out.

Sorry for the long reply but I think this problem is important and is affecting a lot of Autocad users.


For starters people either complain on how long it takes to open, save, plot, work on a hatch, the first time you launch Mtext, and especially using Sheet Set Manager (SSM). So I have been doing a lot of research and I have concluded that if you are sharing any standards on a network on a shared drive is when all these problems occur. If you use Autocad just out of the box and locally everything works fine.

So I have been doing a lot of research and have spent a lot of time and money on our network to solve this problem and it's still not completely solved. So in my opinion the problem is with the Autocad code and working across any type of network.


Our company is an Architectural, Engineering, Environmental, and Surveying with 8 offices.

All 8 offices are connected on a Wide Area Network, 6 have 20mb, 1 has 40mb, and our main office has a 60mb WAN connection. Our main office is where we store all of our companys files and Autocad standards so all 7 offices are working back to our main office. I would say on average our main office pipeline is using only about 30mb through out the day. All of our servers are using Microsoft Server 2008 R2, and all of our workstations are using Windows 7 Pro 64bit with about 16gb of ram.


When I started looking into this problem I thought it was our network at one of our offices that was at 20mb so I upgraged and bumbed it up to 40mb and this office has 40 employees and I would say 20 are using Autocad.

That did help but not what we were expecting. Before I forget our local users at our main office where also complaining about how sometimes Autocad is slow, so it's not just our users outside of our main office where the main file server is. So doing more research I have seen discussions about turning stuff off in Autocad and we did all of that and that improved it a little bit but again not to our expectations. For example I told people to close all palettes, tell SSM not to sync, turn off digital signature, and upgraded network and video drivers, so pretty much I did everything possible I could with Autocad and the workstation and still we are not getting the performance that we expect.


I then found these two programs that would capture our network and workstation traffice and they are:

Process Monitor I used this program to capture what activity happens on the workstation.

Wireshark I used this program to capture all network traffic.


This where I need your help, if someone at least could download the Process Monitor and capture traffic on the workstation and see if you get the same results as I do. You aren't going to believe this if I read the data correctly.

Basically Autocad is looking for about 30-50 files and it's searching in about 30-40 different folders looking for it and basically can't find it. For example it might be looking for a file called gdi11.hdi and it will look for it in for it all over on the workstation and if you opened a file on the network then it also looks for it and if you have any custom file search paths in your Autocad profile it will also look in those folders. So if you can imagine everytime you open, save, print, switch between model and paperspace it's contastanly looking for files in all the wrong folders so no wonder it takes Autocad so long to just launch or to open, save, print, etc... it's wasting a lot of time looking for files and wasting our bandwidth.


If you decide to use Process Monitor to run this test and see for yourself I recommend using a filter so that you can just see the acad.exe process and what files it can't find.

In Process Monitor go to Filter / Filter and you will be adding three seperate filters.

1.Process name is = acad.exe

2.Operation is = CreateFile

3.Result is = name not found


What you can also do is start and stop and clear the events just to see what Autocad does, for example capture what Autocad looks for starting up, stop it and then clear it while leaving Autocad open, then start the capture again with a clean slate and now open a file, and do the same thing for printing, switching between model space and paperspace, etc... and you will be amazed.


So I would be curious if others are seeing that the acad.exe process is wasting a lot of time looking for files in the wrong places causing Autocad to act slow on certain operations. I'm currently working with our reseller who is working with Autodesk on this right now and I think if I can more proof and help from the outside I think we might have a better chance of Autodesk listening and fixing the problem.



Brent Morris

Valued Contributor
Posts: 85
Registered: ‎07-18-2012
Message 10 of 60 (2,329 Views)

Re: Slow Civil 3d, cause by slow server, but still frustrated

04-23-2013 10:06 PM in reply to: brent.morris



This is a top contribution, thanks. Seems AutoCAD is getting more and more busy with itself, and there is less and less processor time left for the user.


I'm running 45 survey crews on three LNG construction sites, and apart from the networking issues we have the additional company security further crippling the users. I have my own personal notebook with a local install of AutoCAD Civil3D, connected to nothing and using a USB-stick network to transfer files when needed. It is so much faster than the company CAD machines, and does not suffer from lags. The company ones keep going into short (2-10 second) "hang ups" every couple of minutes, as AutoCAD wrestles with network, firewalls and security I think, very frustrating and needless.Press F1 and it  takes 30-50 secs before the help comes up (although the "access online content" check-box is unchecked). It's quicker to Google the problem.


Just watching AutoCAD start up, partial menus get displayed, taken away, redisplayed, the screen gets reorganized about a dozen times before the eventually system settles down, pays attention to the user and the keyboard and mouse accept input. Messy.

Hans Moller
Surveying & Management Services
Gladstone Australia
Clevo Metabox 16GB, Intel i7-3720QM 3.1Ghz, 256GB SSD, Nvidia GTX 680M
AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013
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